Libyan Civil War, July 30th Update
Significant Libyan Towns and Cities
An Al-Jazeera report today has made apparent that, while focus is elsewhere, advances have been made here. Apparently, while not in full control of the city, they have fortified positions within the city.
Plans are beginning to be made for the next city, Al-Khums. This includes the ruins of Leptis Magna, where it is alleged that Qaddafi is keeping so armored forces. Al Khums is about 44 kilometers to the west.
News from this front is more readily available. The taking of Ghazaia has been completely confirmed, and an Al-Jazeera Reporter has went to the town of Takut and stated it is also under rebel control. The impact of this is the fact that Nalut and Wazzin are no longer under threat of shelling. However, attacks on Tiji and Al-Jawsh have been halted by a combination of Snipers on rooftops, and using the civilians in these towns as human shields. In the case of Tiji though, reports are that the small town has been surrounded.
Off to the east, there is talk of some soldiers being sent south toward Mizdah. Mizdah is on the same North-South road as Gharyan, and if controlled by the rebels, would cut the supply line that connects the southern part of Libya to Tripoli. Mizdah is 85 kilometers south of Gharyan, in open desert.
After intensive de-mining efforts, the rebels on this front have advanced about two kilometers towards Brega. Considering where the landmines were reported before, this indicates that the Rebels are within 10-20 kilometers of Brega.
Political and Other Fronts.
Suleiman Mahmoud has been appointed to succeed Younis as army chief.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Younis are beginning to become clearer. Apparently, he was assassinated after being arrested and being recalled to Benghazi for questioning. The reason for his arrest are unknown. However, on the way to Benahazi, members of the February 17th Martyrs’ Brigade attacked Younis and two subordinates, killing them. The bodies were dumped outside of Benghazi.
As a result, members of this militia have been arrested. In addition, NTC Chairman Mustafa Abdul Jalil and NTC Finance Minister Ali Tarhouni have ordered that armed civilian militias disband. These militia members would then be given the option to join either the army and go to the front-lines, or join the Security Forces patrolling Benghazi. If militia members do not do wither of these, they will be ordered to stop all belligerence.
In Tripoli, NATO bombs struck 3 TV Stations, crippling Qaddafi’s ability to disseminate propaganda and information.